Day 2, Tuesday, February 25, Arrive Seoul

The Crystal Symphony is in Komodo Island, Indonesia. The Crystal Serenity is in Halong Bay, Vietnam. The MS Amsterdam is at sea from Yap, Micronesia to Manila, Philippines.

The Tuesday portion of my flight went South through Siberia, Mongolia, and China, approaching Inchon from the East. Our route did not seem to be close to any major cities, although I suspect we passed not far from Petropovlsk (not shown on the inflight map), Our second (final) inflight meal came soon after crossing the dateline; I enjoyed a chicken dish. I caught what I think was about a 2-hour nap after dinner.

I suspect we must have faced some headwinds, we were about a half hour late into Seoul with no other apparent reason. I disembarked the plane about 5PM, local time.

Inchon airport is billed as one of the world’s nicest. I was truly impressed with the international concourse when I had a several hour layover here a year ago, but it seemed more ordinary for arrivals. I had about a 30-minute line for immigration. It evened out a bit when got to baggage claim; luggage for my flight was just starting, and my bags were among the very first to arrive. I had brought some leftover apples, carrots, and radishes along for snacks. The customs form mentioned these, and I showed them to an agent at the checkout gate. He took my form, directed me to a trash bin, and out I went. Once outside customs, the departure lobby seemed small and crowded but functional.

Seoul has an extensive system of busses serving local hotels. A ticket for the Grand Hyatt was about $15, and the ride was about an hour. Most was on expressways, with about the last 15 minutes on the dark streets of the city. I arrived at the hotel about 7:40.

It was now some time since dinner, but I wasn’t ready for another big meal. The neighborhood had only a smattering of convenience stores, and I ended the day with a snack of chips and ice cream. I booked a Wednesday DMZ tour with the concierge and was in bed about 10. I slept well for several hours but woke about 3 and could not get back to sleep.

Today’s parting shot concerns how deceptive our ideas of geography can be. With my trans-Pacific flight from Maryland to roughly the same latitude in Korea, I envisioned flying many hours far from land. It just didn’t happen. We flew very far north, following the northern Canada coast across 3 territories, and went offshore in Alaska, but never more than a stones throw from the mainland. Across the Bering Strait, I doubt we were ever much more than a hundred miles off shore, and then we were well inland on our descent through Asia. Just not at all what I envisioned.

Roy

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2 Responses to Day 2, Tuesday, February 25, Arrive Seoul

  1. judy weisman says:

    I am really enjoying your trip blog. I live in Northern Va. near Dulles airport and today the schools are closed with a suprise snow. Not a blizzard but the nice pretty snow. Have a wonderful trip

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